In the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, he makes the compelling argument for five major ways that we give and receive love. They are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
- Quality Time
This list is, of course, not exhaustive for the ways that people can give and receive love. I should probably keep working at my job despite the fact “Working at a Job” is not a listed love language. It is loving for my family even if it does not fit comfortably on the list.
As I have had children, I have been amazed at how much they just drink in physical touch and words of affirmation. They are just sponges for love in those ways. I can watch my daughter just brim with excitement when I tell her that I think that dress looks beautiful on her. She will then dance and twirl around the living room to make sure I have noticed every last pink frill.
But there is a strange way that kids accept love that I had not anticipated. Far from the more glamorized and acceptable ways of giving love listed above, this one is different. It is the sixth love language (for kids).
6. Acts of Silliness
Kids just flourish when parents are ridiculous and silly around them. I think God is like this. We will be amazed in Heaven by how much God is speaking in baby-talk just to speak with us at all. I think we will also be amazed at how very funny God will be. He is not simply the judge of the Universe, he also knows all the best jokes.
One such joke that is common in my house is that a child will walk into a room and I will intensely point and smile at them. I won’t say anything, just point. The child stops, considers for a moment, then they smile. “You’re so silly dada.”
My pointer fingers on both hands are called my “Poking Fingers.” The kids know that if I walk up to them with my poking fingers out, they are about to get gentle pokes in their bellies. They twist up and giggle and have a good time even if I don’t poke them. A favorite thing they do is try to prevent my poking finger from poking them. When they succeed in stopping a poke, they are quite proud of themselves and give me five year old smack talk.
The point is that we men should not be too serious in our home. Our kids need us to be representative of the Sovereign God who commands infinite respect AND the God who is funny and delightful. Yahweh is both.
Gentlemen, we need to love our kids using Acts of Silliness. Tickle them, tell them a nonsensical joke, make funny sounds, pretend you are a giant pink panda bear. Be very, very silly because you love them so much that you don’t care if your neighbor’s laugh at you as long as your kids know you love them.
Ironically, Acts of Silliness make you most respectable.
The delightful image above was use with permission from Cheriejoyful.